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SubjectRe: Friendlier EPERM - Request for input
On 1/9/2013 12:32 PM, Eric Paris wrote:
> On Wed, 2013-01-09 at 12:14 -0800, Casey Schaufler wrote:
>> On 1/9/2013 11:43 AM, Eric Paris wrote:
>>> I know many people are worried about information leaks, so I'll right up
>>> front say lets add the sysctl to disable the interface for those who are
>>> concerned about the metadata information leak. But for most of us I
>>> want that data right when it happens, where it happens, so It can be
>>> exposed, used, and acted upon by the admin trying to troubleshoot why
>>> the shit just hit the fan.
>> How on earth is your webadmin supposed to match the failure
>> of a system call with the content of /proc/8675309/whydiditfail
>> at the time of the failure? It's not like he's going to go into
>> the apache source and add code to look at what's there.
>> Unfortunately, what you probably need is an interface that gives
>> the program access to the audit records it has generated.
> The first thought was wanting to add it by default to perror/strerror in
> libc, but libc guys didn't think it reasonable since it couldn't be
> save/restored across calls, like errno. Instead I hope for a libc
> function, something like char *get_extended_error_info(void), which
> outputs a localized string based on the information in the /proc
> interface.
> Programs like httpd would need to be changed to use this function when
> logging denials. Programs like python would use this interface to
> populate additional information in the exception they pass up the stack.
> I agree that something access to the audit record is appropriate. It's
> sorta like what I'm proposing. But audit is not really useful here. It
> doesn't collect information about any denial other than LSM. And the
> number of DAC or capabilities denials on a normally operating box is, I
> expect, quite large. Thus we can't pump them all into audit just on the
> unlikely chance something cares. Setting a couple of ints is cheap.
> Audit is really nice for people will well defined security goals and
> information retention and analysis purposes, but it kinda completely
> sucks butt for a normal sysadmin or developer...

Let me try again, I think I didn't quite get the idea across.

I'm suggesting that the string returned by get_extended_error_info()
ought to be the audit record the system call would generate, regardless
of whether the audit system would emit it or not.
If the audit record doesn't have the information you need we should
fix the audit system to provide it. Any bit of the information in
the audit record might be relevant, and your admin or developer might
need to see it.

I'm suggesting using the audit record because there are tools to
examine them and it's a pity to use a different format instead of
fixing the one that's already there.

> -Eric

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